Kenya Railways finally rolls out long-awaited inter-county train service.
Since its maiden trip on May 31, Standard Gauge Railway train service has emerged as the most popular mode of transport between the two cities.
Kenya Railways (KR) have announced inter-county passenger train service will begin from November 1 allowing passengers to alight on the stations between Nairobi and Mombasa.
Madaraka Express will offer a morning inter-county passenger service on the Madaraka Express train between Mombasa and Nairobi, with the express service moved to 3:30pm.
In a statement to newsroom on Thursday, Transport Secretary James Macharia said the inter-county trains will stop at Athi River, Emali, Kibwezi, Mtito Andei, Voi, Miasenyi and Emali stations between Mombasa and Nairobi.
“Yes it is true we have plans to start these operations to cater for more passengers who want a more flexible timeline when travelling between the two cities.”
"Commuter buses can now alter their route to accommodate the new changes that will see more people working in the two cities travel by train before alighting midway to connect at the local bus termini to their homes,” he said.
Kenyans have been trickling in large numbers to Kenya railways stations to board the Madaraka express, leaving bus owners high and dry counting huge losses.
KR chief executive Atanas Maina said the service had helped move 330,000 Kenyans between Nairobi and Mombasa.
Affordability and comfort is Madaraka’s highest selling point.
While buses take up to eight hours to cover the 472-kilometre journey, charging between Sh800 to Sh2,500 on the executive coaches, Madaraka trains on the Standard Gauge Railway (SGR) take four hours (express) and five hours for inter-county service.
Passengers on the economy class pay Sh700 ($7) each and Sh3,000 ($30) for the business class.
inter-County train service is even cheaper, commuters will be able to pay as low as Sh50 ($0.5) effectively ensuring no Kenyan is left behind or too broke to afford the ride.
According to an earlier fare schedule by Kenya Railways, economy class travellers will pay Sh50 between Mariakani and Mombasa, Voi-Kibwezi (Sh230), Athi River-Emali (Sh160), Nairobi-Voi (Sh500) and Sh400 ($4) for Emali to Miasenyi.
Since it become operational, Madaraka Express has played a divisive role in reducing traffic congestion and accidents on Kenyans roads.
With a capacity to ferry 1,200 passengers one way at a go, Kenyan roads is now minus 20 buses daily not to mention the environmental impact.
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